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  1. earlier in the thread, someone linked to a thread that had an Excel worksheet.. I downloaded it, filled out most information (I left out "last used" as that's a lot of work to obtain), but I couldn't figure out how to post it here in this thread. "My Media" ??? I do not need larger credit cards or lines of credit. When I started our business, I used CC cash to buy real estate with cash offers. I haven't done that since 2013. Recent purchases were financed using equity from the existing portfolio and actual cash reserves. In 2 instances, I've also raised funds by selling equity in a project. I appreciate the offer to give more in-depth advice, but it is not necessary, as I don't need a particularly high FICO. It just needs to be 700+ I shall report back within ~45 days if paying down to 49% was good enough.
  2. It's really not what I asked for. PIF each month.. 15 or 20 years ago, I would've said the same thing, and actually lived by that. I read the thread that you referenced. I actually went through such a situation twice.. in 2001.. laid off, about 1 month of reserves on hand. I lived through it, didn't miss any payments. Literally lived on credit cards. I lost employment again in 2009. Came back from a vacation and my name sign was already removed from my Silicon Valley cubicle. I started a business at that time, haven't looked back since. My net worth grew between 2009 and 2017 by approximately 50 times my annual gross salary.. or, more meaningful, ~75 years net income. And yes, that all started with taking out $150k on credit cards. I've paid them off (in full) 2 or 3 times since then, and on occasion used the money again. I have no problem with it. 20 years ago, I would've been afraid. I know where you're coming from. If I can invest the money and make more than 12% cash-on-cash, then I won't hesitate to pay (on weighted average) 12% to credit card companies.
  3. my last 2 refinances (within the past 3 months) were both with CHASE - apartment loans - and they actually only pulled Equifax. This upcoming refinance will not be with CHASE -- they turned the property down. Unfortunately my loan broker hasn't told me the name of the lender yet. "EQ04, TU04, and EX98 which you can only get all 3 from the MyFICO 3B" Thank you for these insider terms. I had never heard of them. My experience has been that a lender's Equifax score is ~20 points lower than what Equifax gives me as a consumer score. That's why I was aiming for 720+ on the consumer "FAKO" score. I found a product "MyFICO 3B" offered on www.myfico.com $60 - is that the best deal? The web site says that they offer a variety of scores in that product, so it may be worth it one time.
  4. So, here's a data point. I compared the Equifax Reports from October 2016 with today's report. They do NOT label it "FICO". It's an "Equifax Score". October 2016: Revolving accounts: 66% 17 inquires in past 24 months Score: 684 October 2017: Revolving accounts: 92% 13 inquires in past 24 months Score: 693 The total amount of credit was the same on both reports. Before anyone judges me on the increase of CC debt.. I went from 66% to 92% during the recent 12 months because I'm building a house, using my own funds - not a construction loan. The property is free and clear and - when finished - worth low 7 figures.
  5. One more data point. Comparing the Equifax report from October 2016 with today. All In regards to INDIVIDUAL cards: You WON'T get a significant boost at 89% or 69%. That's why I posted 49% in my above post. Overall utilization shouldn't even be a factor. When the individual cards are lowered, obviously the overall util will be reduced. I re-read my original post, my proposal had been 59%. Not 69 or 89. One of the responses mentioned known thresholds.. "10%/30%/50%/70%/90%" The 60% is missing in that list. So, I guess that's why you're talking about 49% vs 69%. I think I can afford to go to 49%.. 120k cash avail.. pay balance down from 110k to 50k (under 50%) and still have 60k to show the lender as reserves. to show the lender as reserves. For what? It's quite common for real estate loans that lenders want to see reserves. I've seen these types of requests: * borrower to have 6 months of payments on the new loan in reserves * borrower to have 6 months of payments on ALL loans (including the new one) in reserves * borrower to have 10% of the new loan amount in reserves and.. drum roll.. the toughest.. * borrower to keep $100k in a checking account at our institution during the life of the loan ($700k.. so more than 10%!). Should the reserves ever go below $100k, then the interest rate increases by 1%. And yes, I have one loan with the requirement in the last paragraph.. it's written in the promissory note. And no, I did not keep the 100k with them. I rather pay 1% more interest.
  6. well, I just blew $15.95 on an Equifax "single report and score" and it shows 693 instead of the expected 680. I had expected 680 because, about a year ago, the same Equifax report gave me 680 and I've been monitoring with CreditKarma since then and there were no changes since then. On a side note, my CreditKarma score stinks.. it's 560. It makes for a great story when someone wants to borrow money from me.. I put on the sad face and show them the CK app on my phone with the 560 (EQ) and 561 (TU) scores. Original intention for the $15.95 report was to verify the reporting date of each card-- they may have changed since I updated my spreadsheet. We're off to a good start! EDIT: Equifax has a score estimator. Current score: 693. "What would happen if... I made an extra payment of $50,000?" --> "new score would likely be between 694 and 714" "..I made an extra payment of $80,000?" --> "new score would likely be between 701 and 721" "..I made an extra payment of $110,000?" --> "new score would likely be between 708 and 728" I believe that's too conservative. I think that paying the balances down to $0 would get me to around 760. It did exactly that 2 years ago.
  7. In regards to INDIVIDUAL cards: You WON'T get a significant boost at 89% or 69%. That's why I posted 49% in my above post. Overall utilization shouldn't even be a factor. When the individual cards are lowered, obviously the overall util will be reduced. I re-read my original post, my proposal had been 59%. Not 69 or 89. One of the responses mentioned known thresholds.. "10%/30%/50%/70%/90%" The 60% is missing in that list. So, I guess that's why you're talking about 49% vs 69%. I think I can afford to go to 49%.. 120k cash avail.. pay balance down from 110k to 50k (under 50%) and still have 60k to show the lender as reserves.
  8. I think you're onto something here. The sheer number of cards with balances (even if each had a balance of $1 only) is a negative, right? So, if I had 10 cards with identical limits, it's better to have 1 card with a $10 balance and 9 other cards showing $0 than to have 10 cards with $1 each. It's just tempting to log into all those sites right now and schedule some payments. The largest cards report around the 13th, so I have a few days. Most of my smaller cards report after the 20th.
  9. I've done this since 2004.. my total credit card debt is over $160k, credit reports don't show all of it since some cards are "business credit cards". I keep the utilized over 90%. My score dropped from over 760 to around 680.. no big deal unless you tend to forget paying bills. I've lots of accounts, I mean, LOTS.. not just 2 inches of credit cards.. more than a dozen real estate loans, most of them not on credit reports (but they would report if I would miss payments), and I've never missed any payment. So, a few times over the years I had to raise the score, I would just pay off everything and the score goes right back up over 750. The only thing is that for each application you get a hard inquiry. At times, I've had 25 inquiries in the past 24 months. Cannot pay to get those removed. I would have to completely stop applying for 2 years to bring that number down to 0.. not very feasible for me personally, but maybe for you. I think all those inquiries cost me probably 20 points.
  10. Barry Paperno, who worked at FICO for 25+ years says combined utilization will have more of an impact than individual utilization though the latter does have an impact as well. is that really true? That would be a precise answer to my questions. So it's better to spread the payment across all cards, e.g. better to pay off each card by 40% than to pay off 4 cards by 100%. Is there a reference where this was discussed? I googled "Barry paperno" .. evaluating the links now. Thanks!
  11. >> Is that lender for a debt consolidation loan ? << I'm sorry, I did not think I should have provided that in the original post. No, it is not a debt consolidation loan. I'm refinancing a much larger commercial real estate loan (apartment complex) which is currently at nearly 6%.. floating and thus at risk to rise further should LIBOR increase. With my current score, I have offers to refinance between 4.8% and 5%, fixed for 5 years. That's a good improvement compared to floating at 6% There's one lender who would refinance me to [not locked in] ~4.25%, but this lender requires the 700+ score.. and 5% reserves (in my case: $1M loan, I need to show $50k reserves). So, I could just sign the letter of interest and go for the 4.8%, or play games with FICO, pay cards down but still keep $50k+ in reserves... and get a ~0.6% lower rate. Closing cost are comparable. That 0.6% on $1M is nearly $6k savings in the first year .. worth it, right? The only down side with the 4.25% lender is that they amortize over 25 years and the 4.8%+ lenders all use 30 year amo.. maybe it's a wash. Cash flow wise it's probably the same. As I said, I don't want to blow too much money on paying down the cards. $50k would be ok, paying $70k would be the "limit" to leave me $50k "reserves". There is no reward for bringing the score higher than 700.
  12. I have approximately $110k credit card debt with a combined card limit of $115k, so this is over 90% and impacts my FICO score substantially. High utilization of revolving credit is the only negative. I also do have ~$120k cash available. The $110k are spread across ~15 cards. The largest balances are: A - $32k B - $30k C - $17k and a couple smaller cards averaging $4k each. I've been in this situation before, paid off every single card and the score went from 680 to 760 (Equifax FICO score) I don't really need a 760 but 720+ would be fine. Also, I don't want to blow too much of the cash as I need reserves for financing that I'm working to get. The same lender who wants me to have those reserves also wants to see a 700 FICO score. The lender wants to see 700 which usually means Equifax will need to show me 720 (the lenders always seem to come up with a ~20 point lower number) So, I'm thinking, I need to dedicate maybe 42k.. bring it down to 68k of 115k.. which means going from 96% to 59% (37% drop) Does it matter how I apply those 42k? I would prefer to pay the highest interest rate cards first. (The largest balances are at 1.99%. Some are at 0%) Or should I pay down each card by 37% so that there are no maxed out cards in the mix at all any more? Thank you for your insights.
  13. Any insight on how you make money on balances you're paying 7%+ on? That's well above the threshold for the game I play so maybe I'm missing something and can learn something here. well, the debt is taken on at 0% plus 3% fee for 12 or 18 months, which would be an annual rate of 3% or 2%. Most of the time, I pay it off when the promotional rate expires. Not always. The weighted average rate between all cards is around 7%. By the way, I consider 7% a very low interest rate. Only 9 years ago, I got a 30yr fixed rate mortgage around 6.75%, IIRC. If one can borrow money unsecured for 7%, that's not bad at all. Any interest rate makes sense as long as you can invest the money in a project where you earn more. I have had short term hard money loans at 18% plus 3 points.. effectively 21% and currently have an unsecured loan ($1M) at 25%. If you do the right thing with the funds, It makes business sense. Look at the apartment complex that I described above. Purchased $1500k, invested $52k, could sell for $1900k. Took 5 months.. Cash invested was $500k (down payment) + $52k (repairs) = $552k. Interest 6 months @ 12% on $1M = $60k. The rents collected during these 6 months actually covered the interest. Insurance, utilities, property tax.. $10k tops.. total cost $562k. Profit if sold for $1.9M after closing cost.. $350k Cash on cash return 350/562 = 62% .. in 6 months! I'm probably going to wait a few years before I sell it.. will raise rents which were low during construction phase.. the resale value will rise proportionally. Could well sell for $2M then. And it would be long-term cap gains. Might want to do a 1031 on this one.
  14. I've played this game since ~2003, and yes, there has been adverse action. Around 2007, I had a Chase card with $45k available, $0 used. They offered a 0% balance transfer, back then with less than 3% transaction fee. I asked for $42k, was denied, next day I notice they had dropped the limit to $40k. I called in and asked "what's going on", CSR did not know either, I initiated a BT with his help for $39k, they dropped the limit to $25k, denied. I call again, ask for a manager, manager thinks he knows what's going on, blah,blah, limit was dropped again to $20k, at that time, I got upset, called in and asked to close the d*mn account. I should not have gotten emotional. Smartest action would have been to do nothing when they cut the limit the first time to $40k.. Another card I had obtained fresh .. $10k initial limit, and I took out $9500 as BT to my checking account, they closed the account within a few weeks after that. I reacted stubborn and made the minimum payment for 7 years (rate was 7.24%).. it was the only closed account with a balance, until 2 days ago, when I paid it off (about $4500 were left). 3rd and last AA was CITI..a $22,500 limit, I did not use the card much, as they did not offer me any 0% BT, they cut the limit from $22,500 to $500 in 2008. Ironically, I gave this card to my spouse (figured with $500 she cannot do much damage ;-) .. now I have to pay it off weekly. About the card mix. I have 15 credit cards that are linked to my social security number. Further, I have 3 cards that are linked to my business's tax ID but I believe that one of them does know my social # as well. The 15 cards have the combined limit of $140k. The 3 other cards have a combined limit of $46k, and they are strictly used for business expenses. One is a Home Depot commercial "net 30" account, you can see how there won't be a BT offer ever coming. Now here's the interesting thing. Of the 15 cards that are linked to my social, 4 are labelled "business cards" (but they are linked to my personal SS#) And these 4 do not show up on EQ's credit report, not on CreditKarma either. These reports show only 11 accounts. So, according to the reports (that I have accessed), I have 11 accounts with 40% utliziation. One of these 11 is at 95%. ($39k out of $96k) If I take all 15 accounts thare are tied to my SS, it would be 56% ($79k out of $140k) If i were to include the 3 real business cards, it would be probably 64% -- $120k out of $186k. The Home Depot account is paid every month but never shows a $0 balance.. I spend on average $15k a month there and pay an equal amount on the 1st. So, on real estate credit applications, I usually just state $100k revolving credit with a rough estimate of combined debt ($90k) and a rough estimate of the monthly payment ($3k). I let them figure it out. It has never been questioned, and I get quite a few real estate loans, at least 2 each year. A final word.. I do not believe in chasing a high credit score as a goal. My goal is to make money, not to appease some formula that makes bankers happy. I make money by borrowing money. But from time to time, I have to clean up to, like right now.
  15. We are here in the San Francisco Bay Area; this bank is one of those Chinese banks, and I am quite sure they are not familiar with it. I mentioned it to the LO and got no reaction. I would be happy to pay the (number of lines) * (number of bureaus) * $30 = 5 * 3 * $30 = $450 fee to accomplish it. Even a bit more.

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